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nothing could be clearer than the testimony which he gave, when “he saw Jesus coming unto him, and said, Behold the Lamb of God, which
the sin of the world. This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man who is preferred before me; for he was before me.
2. The second testimony was greater still. "If we believe the witness of men, the witness of God is greater."
36. But I have greater witness than that of John : for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me.
37. And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape.
38. And ye have not his word abiding in you : for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not.
The Father had borne witness to the Son, and was continually bearing it: the works which he did, which the Father had given him to finish, bare witness of him, that the Father had sent him. had not done among them the works which none other man did,” they had been more excusable in rejecting him : for whosoever professes to have a message from God, must produce sufficient proof of the authority which he claims. But this he did produce : and they should have believed him for the very works' sake.? If all had had the simplicity of Nicodemus, all would have acknowledged, like 1 John i. 29, 30.
2 John xiv. 11.
66 If he
Nicodemus, that “no man could do the miracles which he did, except God be with him.”3
3. The third testimony to which Jesus appeals, is that of the Scriptures.
39. Search the Scriptures ; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.
40. And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.
The Scriptures concluded the evidence, and confirmed the whole. The Jewish people were bound to search these ; for in these they thought they had eternal life: and if they had searched them with true and candid heart, they would have proved to them what the star shining in the East proved to “the wise men ;” they would have led them to believe that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of God, so that “ believing, they might have life through his name,” might come unto him, that they might have life.
For consider what a Jewish inquirer would have discovered, had he followed the counsel given him, and searched the Scriptures for a testimony of Jesus. He would remember how Moses had said, that God would raise up unto them “a prophet from the midst of them, of their brethren, like unto him, unto whom they should hearken.”4 The question therefore would be, Is this he that should come? It would be then found, that all which the Scriptures pronounced concerning his birth, had been complied with. It would be found that there had been the voice of one crying in the wilderness, “Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.” It would be found that, according to the language of Isaiah, “a virgin had conceived, and borne a son :" that this son was of the line of David : was born in Bethlehem of Judea : was born at the very time when according to the prediction of Daniel, devout men were looking for " the consolation of Israel :" and had been born with such signs preceding, attending, and following, as might well persuade them that this was “ of a truth that prophet which should come into the world.” Therefore the direct affirmation of John, who had declared him to be the Christ; and the testimony of the Father, who had borne witness to his beloved Son, and was still bearing witness by the miracles which he performed ; would be confirmed and corroborated by an exact agreement with all which the Scriptures had foretold.
3 John üi. 2.
4 Deut. xviii. 15.
So just is our Lord's conclusion : Ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not. Had his word been abiding in their knowledge, or a love of it in their hearts, they would have come to him that they might have life. But there was nothing in their character in common with that of the Father; nothing which led them, when they saw the Son whom he had sent, to look on him as precious and honourable. As Isaiah had foretold, they “saw no beauty in him that they should desire him.”
Let their unbelief be a warning to us, “on
*** For we
whom the ends of the world are come. have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we have believed the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. For we know, that “he received from God the Father honour and glory,” when the works which the Father had given him to finish, bare witness of him. “We have also a sure word of prophecy :"5 if we search the Scriptures, we perceive that they testify of him. And these assurances are given to them “that believe on the name of the Son of God; that they may know that they have eternal life, and that they may believe on the name of the Son of God.” 6
66 For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end."7
REASONS ARE ALLEGED, WHY THE JEWS RE
John v. 41-47.
41. I receive not honour from men. 42. But I know you, that ye have not the love of God
6 1 John v, 13.
5 See 2 Peter i. 16.
7 Heb. iii. 14.
43. I am come in my Father's name, and ye
receive me not : if another shall come in his own name, him will ye receive.
44. How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only?
Jesus had come into the world, as the Redeemer of the world. To the Jews, especially, he had first appeared, as the Messiah whom they had been expecting. That he might accomplish the purpose for which he came, he must be trusted ; be believed in. He showed them, therefore, in the former part of this discourse, that he had all the testimony in his favour which could either be required or granted : he had the testimony of John the Baptist, he had the testimony of God himself, he had the testimony of their Scriptures. If they did not receive this testimony, there must be some reason for it; something which perverted their minds, and prevented their seeing the truth which lay before them. And here he shows what that obstacle was. I know
have not the love of God in
Ye do not love the things which God approves, or desire the things which God permits, or do the things which he commands. Ye have other love, other desires, other affections ; so that ye have nothing in common with him who comes in the Father's name: condemning what he condemns, and prescribing what he sanctions. If another should come in his own name, him
will receive : for he would be of the world, and ye love the world : he, coming in his own name, would